XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

“Nothing but representations” – A Suárezian Way out of the Mind?

Wolfgang Ertl

Edificio: Palazzo dei Congressi
Sala: sala B
Data: 26 maggio 2010 - 14:30
Ultima modifica: 13 aprile 2010


This paper is concerned with some aspects of Kant’s transcendental idealism, in particular the claim that objects of experience are nothing but representations in us, and its connection to the distinction of things in themselves and appearances. This claim has prompted phenomenalist readings which have rightly been rejected almost unanimously. Instead it has been suggested to account for Kant’s distinction in terms of mind-dependent or subject-relativized properties and properties which are not mind-dependent or subject-relativized. Along this line, the “nothing but representation”-claim is then sometimes understood in terms of the secondary-quality analogy, which Kant endorses in the Prolegomena, but rejects in the first Critique. As an alternative, I attempt to interpret Kant along the lines of Suárez’s formal/objective distinction and Scotus’s modal explication of being.